Tag Archives: breakfast

Tally’s Silver Spoon (Rapid City, SD)

As mentioned in our previous review of Vertex Sky Bar, both before and after our Centennial Trail backpacking trip, we stayed in downtown Rapid City at the historic Hotel Alex Johnson. Looking at the various options for breakfast, a simple look out the hotel window showed us that there was a very popular breakfast spot right across the street: Tally’s Silver Spoon. Even at 8am they had a healthy backlog of diners waiting out front for breakfast, so we decided to check it out.

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Howard Johnson’s (Lake George, NY)

(Closed) Okay, I can see most of my readers already scratching your heads, asking “Howard Johnson?! Did Rich fire up the Offbeat Eats time machine?” In a way, we did, with our annual trip to Lake George, NY. Lake George is a bit of an odd place: as primarily a summertime getaway for the Northeast, it maintains a little protective bubble where the ravages of time and America’s changing tastes and economic factors are buffered: there’s an old-school, 1960s era Tiki-themed Polynesian Resort, a still (seasonally) open A&W Root Beer stand, various “Trading Posts” and many mini-golf courses… and the very last remaining Howard Johnson restaurant. Actually, the vibe is a bit less “protective bubble” and more “they didn’t get the memo”, but yes, the Lake George HoJo soldiers on.

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Spoonline Bistro (Girdwood, AK)

While most of my breakfasts in Girdwood involved getting sourdough pancakes at The Bake Shop, we did go branch out and try some of the other places in town. In particular, Spoonline Bistro over in “downtown” Girdwood generally had a quite a following as well, with most mornings having a line almost as long as The Bake Shop. So we decided to check it out.

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The Bake Shop (Girdwood, AK)

Our home base in Girdwood was a small studio condo at the base of the Alyeska resort ski slope, and even when we first checked in, there was a noticeable pleasant aroma of baking bread and spices. On our first trip back out to the parking lot to get the rest of our luggage, we immediately discovered why: the front door to the condo building exits pretty much directly into the outdoor dining patio for The Bake Shop, one of the primary breakfast joints in Girdwood.

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The Poked Yolk (West Seneca, NY)

After almost three weeks of traveling through the Midwest, mostly exploring NE Minnesota and northern Michigan, it was time for us to head home. While in normal years we’d debate the merits of the Canadian and domestic route options, pandemic restrictions resulted in us having to take domestic routes home due to border closings. When it comes down to it, there’s basically two efficient ways to cross New York, going through Buffalo via the Thruway, or taking the Southern Tier/I-88 route across the southern part of the state. We ended up doing the slightly more efficient Thruway route after overnighting in Erie, PA, which left us looking for breakfast around Buffalo. We here at Offbeat Eats have a lot of favorite spots in and around Buffalo, but since we’re usually hitting Buffalo mid-afternoon instead of morning, we’re still working on the breakfast scene. Looking at the options, I decided to try out a new place a bit off the beaten path: The Poked Yolk.

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Suomi Home Bakery & Restaurant (Houghton, MI)

After three days of hanging out in the Keweenah Peninsula, it was time for us to start heading home, with a stop to visit with Carol’s family in the Lower Peninsula. As we worked our way back toward the Mackinac Bridge, we decided to stop for breakfast in Houghton and check out one of our favorites from a previous visit, Suomi Home Bakery & Restaurant. Located on Huron St just a block away from Portage Lake (which separates Houghton from the sister town of Hancock), Suomi. My previous review of Randall Bakery discussed the mixed Cornish and Finnish culinary heritage of the Upper Peninsula’s copper country, and Suomi Home (for those not fluent in Finnish, ‘Suomi’ is the Finnish word for Finland) is nod to the area’s Finnish-American Heritage, and is a well-known favorite for both Finnish-style breakfasts and Finnish-style pasties. On this visit, we were hoping to score a bit of both, stopping in for breakfast while grabbing some pasties to eat as a picnic on our way south.

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Miners Cafe (Laurium, MI)

During our stay on the Keweenah Peninsula, we stayed in the historic Victorian Hall bed and breakfast. Laurium is an interesting little town, it’s a small village next to the larger town of Calumet, and back during the copper mining hey days Laurium held a lot of the Victorian homes of the various owners, professionals, and other well-to-do folks associated with industry in the area. It’s also the home of George Gipp (as in “win one for the Gipper”). While the town definitely isn’t as affluent as it used to be, it’s still a pleasant, quiet town to stay in while in the area. Laurium doesn’t have a lot of restaurants (most of those are over in Calumet), but it does have a Mexican place (the Matador), a pasty shop (Toni’s), and a diner (Miner’s). For breakfast before our day hiking in the Keweenah, we decided to drop in and check out Miner’s Cafe.

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Health Check: Longfellow Grill (Minneapolis, MN)

Here at Offbeat Eats, we occasionally like to do a “Health Check” review on favorite restaurants, to make sure everything is still going well. In this case, our visit to Minneapolis en route to Duluth gave me an opportunity to revisit an old favorite: the Longfellow Grill. I’ve had several visits to the Twin Cities since my 2009 Review, and while I’ve visited a few of the sister restaurants (particularly Groveland Tap), I’d not made it to Longfellow Grill. So we gathered up some local friends and my old bosses the University of Minneapolis (my PhD adviser, and my sysadmin boss during those same years) for a breakfast as we headed out of town.

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Endiro Coffee (Aurora, IL)

After a nice evening in Aurora, IL, followed by a slightly restless night interrupted by tornado sirens and having to figure out where to shelter in the hotel as we watched extreme winds and rain, we ended up really needing some coffee and sustenance before heading north to Minneapolis. We decided to check out Endiro Coffee in nearby downtown Aurora, IL. It’s worth noting that Endiro has several locations. In addition to the cafe in Aurora, and the nearby roastery, Endiro has ten locations spread across Uganda. Yes, it’s a true partnership between Cody Lorance in Illinois, and Gloria Katusiime in Ugunda, bringing coffee shops to Uganda and bringing Ugandan coffee to Illinois. So it’s not often you run into joint Ugandan-American operations, so I had to check this out.

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Garretts Mill Diner (Stow, OH)

Since we overnighted in Stow, OH, for breakfast we decided to try out a small diner located near our hotel: Garretts Mill Diner. Located in a small strip mall on Hudson Drive, it’s the sort of small, friendly diner that I always like to hit up for dinner: a half dozen tables, a few waitstaff, an owner that circulates around asking the diners how their meal is going, and a healthy flow of locals stopping off for a meal.

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